Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gails' Kitchen: Sneak Peek

I don't think most people realize how much time will elapse from the day they decide to take on a renovation project to the day you can actually move your belongings back into the space, including all your own personal touches, and,,, begin living in it.   It can take even longer for the final finishing touches to be put in place and for those much dreamed about "after" photos to be taken.  Gail's kitchen was a project I started in January 2010, you can read all about the project and see before photos here, design drawings here , site progress here, and here. The project involved the renovation of not only her kitchen but an adjoining mud room and family room.   Construction wrapped up 10 months after my initial meeting with Gail, and just in time for her to use her brand new kitchen for Thanksgiving 2010.  But even at that point there was still a short list (ok, she might have called it a long list) of small details still to be completed. 

Flash forward almost a year later and I've finally had the chance to return to Gail's and take some 'after' photos.  (This could have happened sooner but coordinating shoots like this in the summer months is just too challenging.)  Its been an amazing experience to return all these months later and see Gail still gushing over her new kitchen like it was just revealed to her yesterday - she's literally giddy with disbelief and excitement that this is 'her' kitchen.  Its so satisfying to me to see the pure joy on her face when she's in this space and to listen to her tell me of all the parties and special meals that have been experienced.

Having any of my projects professionally photographed, or even photographed by myself, requires a huge investment of my own time (and money!) as well as the complete cooperation of the homeowner.  In all honesty its a challenge to find this time.   It can also take a couple of months to get into a photographer 's schedule depending what time of year it is.  Once scheduled,  prior to a shoot I'll spend a day picking up fresh flowers and food accessories and then I'll spend the next day at the house making sure everything is in place and camera ready.   The third day is spent at the house overseeing the shoot.  Did I mention,,,,,,,these after photos,,, require a huge amount of time!!??  

I was thrilled to work with the super talented photographer Donna Griffith just two weeks ago photographing 'after' photos of Gail's kitchen project.  I don't even have the final photos yet but I thought I'd share a sneak peek at some of the beautiful details that have come to life from all those design sketches and visions I had in my head almost two years ago.  Its a huge room and these images are literally a small 'peek',  capturing only a fraction of the complete space.

Please note the images below are just a few of my own candid shots, not the photographers.

Here you can truly see the beauty and character of hand made subway tile.

As Donna said when she arrived,,,,"I just want to sit down and have breakfast".  I bought the topiaries to dress the table but everything else I set out on the table belongs to Gail.

A huge oversize lantern I had custom made for the two story space. 

Even a year later the timing still wasn't ideal.  There was a construction crew working on the pool deck in the backyard but they were so accommodating every time we asked them to move their tools out of view! 

All Photos:  Carol Reed


  1. Stunning. It is much more traditional than most of your work but your clean aesthetic is there and beautifully executed. Do you oversee the work or is there a General Contractor at the helm.
    The details, the time, the cost are all worth the end result but it sure does feel like nirvana when the project is finally complete.

  2. Looks beautiful! Can't wait to see everything!

  3. Thank you Kat, can't wait to share the rest! : )

  4. Hi PVE! Thank you!!! There was an amazing General Contractor involved who beautifully executed all kinds of custom detailing. I was involved on a weekly basis throughout the entire construction phase, coordinating all those details with him. You're so right,,clients always tell me the end result makes up for all the 'pain'. : )

  5. Fantastic kitchen. I love the classic white subway tiles and black countertop. The open shelving is also fantastic, and oh my, that table!!

  6. Beautiful kitchen! I love the traditional elements used throughout.

  7. Just beautiful, I love it. I chose subway tiles for my kitchen along with the open shelves and the same paneling on the draws...snap!
    ps love that old black phone in the shot and the table and chairs are amazing.

  8. Absolutely fantastic space - it actually looks loved, if you know what I mean! Like a real space, much loved by the home owner, who enjoys spending time in it. And who wouldn't, in such a welcoming space?

    Yes, very traditional compared to your other work that we have been privileged to have a sneak peak at - but I love it just the same!

  9. Fantastic job! I loved the Something's Gotta Give kitchen and you have translated it beautifully and them some. I am so intrigued at how good those IKEA cabinets look!

    Can you tell us where the table came from? It's beautiful!

  10. I love your blog and design sense. I am currently remodeling my kitchen space and have used your site as inspiration. I have all my IKEA cabinets in the garage waiting to be assembled and installed. I'm a graphic designer and this is my first attempt at interior design. I hope it all comes together! Thank you for being my muse. :)

  11. Spectacular! Can I ask what cabinet fronts you used for the 8 lite glass "hutch" cabinets? Are thos Ikea Lidingo. If they are, did you color match the Ikea white or paint the doors around the glass? thanks!

  12. Hi Nancy,
    Thank you! We had the glass door fronts custom made as I didn't like any of the glass door options from Ikea. Our contractor had the same cabinet shop that sprayed the cabinets for us make the glass door fronts. We had actually wanted to use an antique hutch here but during the course of the project we just didn't find anything suitable,,,,,this was plan 'b'. : )

  13. I absolutely adore this kitchen and found it on Pinterest!! Is the open shelving custom made, or did you purchase the shelves from somewhere? Thanks!

  14. Hi Courtney - Thank you! Yes - the shelving was custom made. ~ Carol

  15. The dining table is stunning! Where is it from?

    Thanks! Lisa

  16. Hi Lisa - The table is a piece Gail has had for years and was the one thing from her old kitchen we kept. She acquired it from a monestary and calls it a monks table. Other than that I don't know any more details of its history. ~ C


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